Monthly Archives: December 2010

… and to all…

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Recycle Old Garage Doors Into New Treasures

These days, recycling is understood to be vital for the survival of the planet. 

Old garage doors pose a disposal problem in that they are large and heavy and are made of materials that do not decompose.  Even wooden garage doors are treated and sealed to maintain strength and beauty over many years of use.  Because they take up a significant amount of space in a landfill, individuals who attempt to dispose of old garage doors may face hefty disposal fees.  Many companies that offer garage door service now include complimentary removal and recycling of old doors, often free of charge with garage door replacement.  However, a creative homeowner may choose to keep the used doors and get creative with recycling options.

A great way to recycle used garage doors that are no longer wanted is to take them to builder supply re-use stores, such as the Habitat for Humanity Restores.  A donation to a Habitat Restore counts as a charitable donation for tax purposes, keeps the doors out of landfills, helps Habitat for Humanity raise funds with which to build homes, and offers the doors up for a minimal price to persons seeking inexpensive, used garage doors.

Used garage doors can easily be cleaned, painted, and even dressed up with decorative hardware and used on outbuildings like sheds and greenhouses.  The doors can be hung and used just like on a vehicle storage garage, complete with electronic door openers.  They can also be used as walls for building small tool sheds.  Keep in mind that the neighbors may not like the look of a shed made out of mismatched, used garage doors.  A clever paint job should help pretty things up.

Using paint to give an old door an all new look opens up a whole new list of uses for the recycled material.  The doors can also be used whole or in pieces as roofing for out buildings.  A couple sections of an old door can be decorated and used as a roof for a child’s playhouse.  Or, use prettily painted metal door sections to build creative planters for flowers and vegetables.  Using recycled metal garage doors as planters set around the garage entry and to beautify the driveway is a creative use that will impress friends and neighbors.

Many old wooden garage doors have carved sections and decorations.  An attractive old wooden door makes an original and lovely headboard for a bed.  Wooden doors can also be used in sections as unique wainscoting for interior decorating.  Treated and sealed wooden doors can also be cut or separated into sections and used as landscaping materials, or put hinges on them and use them as fence gates.

Before throwing a replaced garage door away or having it hauled off for recycling by the garage door service, consider the many uses around the home and yard that recycled metal and wood can come in handy for.  If nothing else, securing a used door to the back of a garden shed creates a wonderful outdoor canvas for children to paint murals on.  If nothing comes to mind, donating them to charitable resellers of building supplies benefits many people.

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How To Choose The Best Garage Door Opener

When it comes to maintenance, nothing is more important than checking up on your garage door opener parts and garage door opener is a perfect example of a mechanical device that requires periodical maintenance, adjustment, and testing to ensure that everything is operating properly.

 There is a joke regarding owning a garage door opener is by telling their older children or spouse to get out of the car and open or close the garage door.

But having a powered garage door opener will make you turn into more expedient and safely to park the car since you don’t have to exit the car to open or close the door. This kind of garage door opener is powered by electric and therefore should also be set with a quick disconnect in the event of a power failure in order that the door can be opened to get the automobile out.

Garage door opener is presented in several designs and sizes. You ought to choose the right one which it will be installed to operate the door. Characteristically, garage door opener with one-third horsepower will be more than enough nevertheless you will need larger motor for heavier and larger garage door.

A garage door opener allows the door to be open and close without the driver has to exit the car when coming or going. Even the lightweight fiberglass doors can also be connected to an opener simply for the sake of their handiness.

Consider Safety When Choosing Opener for Garage Door

A garage door can weigh several hundred pounds and consequently, it is likely for the springs to break and cause the door to go crashing down even with the finest of springs and door maintenance. A garage door opener can prevent this from happening as even if the springs break the opener can help keep it from making harm. Besides, electric eyes can used in the door opening to prevent the garage door opener from operating if a person, small animal or other object is danger of being injured by a moving door.

Garage door opener will typically have garage door opener remotes to use garage door opener from inside the vehicle as well as a contact inside the garage to operate the door from inside, so it means that you will have more than one remote. In addition, the keypads can be installed outside the home in order that the owner can operate the opener if the remote is lost or broken down by entering a security code. Some families purchase a spare remote for garage door opener to use inside the home so that door can be open and closed without required to venture out into the garage to push the button.

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To you and yours…

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Time After Time: Garage Door Maintenance

The garage doors are one part of the home that requires a bit of maintenance recurrently to make it operate properly.

What materials is the garage doors fabricated from? Some garage doors constructed from explicit materials would require more maintenance and maintenance than others. The wooden garage doors require frequent repainting or re-staining to protect it. The garage doors are subject to all forms of inclement weather which might wear away it’s finishing, inflicting it to warp. A bent or warped floor hampers the graceful movement of the tracks and makes catastrophe of the mechanisms. The steel garage doors do not warp however it requires repainting to make it look nice.

You will also have to lubricate all of the shifting parts of the garage doors from time to time. This might allow the equipment to run smoothly and efficiently. Regularly applying oil to the shifting parts will make additionally defend parts to put on against the others and getting eroded.

To avoid the necessity for garage door repair you would have to just be sure you tighten all of the screws. The motion and vibration of heavy objects cause loosening of bolts and nuts after due course of time, so tightening them often with a screw driver would stop any need for calling garage door repair services.

You also need to make sure there aren’t any obstructions that block the pathway and the tracks of the garage door. Be sure that the transferring parts move freely and easily. To avoid garage door repair, you would have to make a daily schedule for upkeep of the garage doors. You’ll be able to fix a particular date of every month on which you’d carry this task. Maintaining the garage door often will help unnecessary garage door repair services.

Over time and even after common upkeep, your garage door may still require some skilled garage door repair services.

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Spice Up that Garage Door with a Door Mural

A garage door mural is a great way of decorating an otherwise dull, and forgotten area of our home’s exterior. You can make the design simple and in keeping with your surroundings, or embellish the whole door with a rich, vibrant and eye-catching design. It’s not as hard to do as you might think.

Before doing any preparation on your garage door mural, you need to think about the kind of design you are opting for. There are many theme ideas you could use:

• Natural – in keeping with the surroundings, such as the same trees you have in your garden.

• Sky and clouds, with additional features painted to the foreground that you can keep adding to.

• Abstract

• Space/Sky At Night

• Amusing • Fantasy

• Anything with a transport theme

• Cityscape

• Beach scene/Tropical Island

You could also try a mix of two or more of these ideas, such as a single abstract flower, a space fantasy design, or sky at night and cityscape.

Preparation Before starting your mural, you need to make sure that the surface of your garage door is 100% clean, which means getting rid of grease and grime. The best way to clean a garage door is to use a brush to get rid of debris and dust, before cleaning with a mix of warm water and mild detergent. Rinse, and allow to dry.

Apply a paint primer suitable for use on your surface, and allow to dry.

Once you’ve decided on a design or theme, you need to sketch it out onto the door in pencil. If you are going for a more free-form method, or are using aerosols then you can skip this part, although even the odd pencil mark to use as a measuring guide may be helpful to keep all your elements in proportion. The method of application should suit both you, and your chosen design.

Using Aerosol Paints for a Mural

Aerosol designs are very popular in murals for garage doors, for several reasons; they are totally in keeping with the car theme, they are very weather hardy, and come in a range of colors that even include metallics. They also cover large expanses of your surface (whether it be garage door or wall), in a really quick time. You don’t have to worry about brush strokes either; the result is always smooth.

The downside to using them is the fumes they generate, and that for the uninitiated user they can be hard products to control. If you are uncertain of using aerosols, but like the final look they produce, then practice first on some lining paper (outdoors), or on the inside of the garage door. You could also employ the use of stencils in conjunction with aerosols, allowing drying time between each section of stencil you cover.

Traditional Brush & Paint Technique

A more likely way of covering a garage door with a mural is with the use of a standard paint and brush technique. Make sure you use a suitable exterior paint; the paint you need for a wooden garage door is different to the paint you will need for a metal garage door. There are also specialist garage door paints available, which would be ideal if you only need to use a few colors. If your design includes lots of color though, think about using an enamel paint for metal doors (such as the hobby sized tins you get in craft stores), or an acrylic paint that contains latex.

Putting Your Plan Into Action

Whatever method you choose to use to paint the mural for your garage door, there are some steps you need to follow:

1. Start with your darkest paints first, and finish with the lightest.

2. Use masking tape to section off larger areas to give a precise edge, and to make painting quicker and easier.

3. If you need to protect your design overnight from weather, dust and leaves etc. cover it with some plastic sheeting, held away from the door (so the sheet doesn’t stick to any wet paint), and holding it down with some rocks or bricks. You should then be free to continue your design the next day.

4. Your final step should be adding highlights, shadows, and outlines.

Finishing Off – Weatherproofing

Whatever paints you’ve used for your garage door mural, your design will need protecting from the elements. When your design is completely dry (could take 2-3 days), use a clear paint sealer all over; using an aerosal one is best as it gives a smoother finish. Once dry, apply a second coat for an ultra-protected garage door. You’ve put so much into creating your unique design, you don’t want anything to destroy it.

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Maintaining the Garage Door

Whether you have a traditional garage door, or a sectional garage door, you will need to do regular maintenance to keep it working at its best.

Below are some of the ways you can keep your garage door working in great condition.

Check the Operation of the Door

One of the first things you will want to check each time you do maintenance on your garage door, is the actual operation of the garage door itself. Of course, each day you pull in and out of your garage, using your garage door opener, you know that it is working. It goes up and down, as it is supposed to, so it may never occur to you that there still may be a problem or a coming problem at that.

To check the operation properly, you actually want to disable your garage door opener, and check the door manually to see if it is operating appropriately.

Clean Everything

If you need to straighten anything, you want to do that first, but at the same time, you can clean anything that may look like it needs cleaning. Even if you don’t see any visible debris or dirt, it is a good habit to clean the tracks.

Try using an automotive degreaser to get all the dust, grime, and grease that will most likely be present on the tracks themselves. The thing you do want to watch out for is using too much degreaser which in turn will rid of the lubrication the door needs.

After you’ve done a good job cleaning the tracks, you will want to clean the bearings as well. After you have completely cleaned the bearings, using some lubrication to lubricate the wheel bearings. Use a good amount of lubrication while doing this, because this is what lets the door work properly.

Test The Safety Extras

The safety extras are something that should also be checked on a regular basis. One of the most common safety extras on garage doors is the reverse safety. See if any adjustments need to be made to anything in regards to the reverse safety. Simply open the door and set a fairly sizable object, such as a 2×4 in the center of the opening. Push the button to lower the door. If the door stops, and starts going back up at a certain point, your reverse safety should be in good shape, with no adjusting needed. However, if the door continues to shut on, or even close to the object, then that means you will need to do some adjusting to the reverse safety mechanism in your garage door opener.

Above are just some of the routine maintenance that should be done on your garage door. Whether you own a traditional or secitonal garage door, these rules and techniques should be followed to ensure that you have a garage door that opens and shuts appropriately, as well as lasts for a long time.

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Troubleshooting a Garage Door Opener Remote Control

Believe it or not, technologies like garage door opener remote controls are supposed to make our lives easier. Unfortunately,  there is nothing easy about having to open a garage door by hand in the middle of a freezing winter night because the remote for the opener won’t work. As technologies become more complex, there are more and more ways in which they can break down. Scan the list of problems below to find one that sounds familiar, then read the quick fix underneath it. Hopefully, it will help correct the error within the remote so that the garage will open and close without any issues.

The Garage Door Opener Remote Only Works Up Close

There are quite a few things that could cause this to happen. First, check the batteries within the remote itself to be sure they still carry a charge powerful enough to operate the remote. While replacing the batteries, be sure to clean the electrical contacts, since this may be another cause of a weak signal from the remote. If the remote is still only working up close it may be time to go talk to the neighbors. If a button is stuck on a neighbor’s remote, the signal can cause an interference that may shorten the range of other radio frequency based devices in the area. Houses within the proximity of military bases will have this same problem and it is recommended that people in this situation switch to remotes that operate below 390 megahertz to fix the problem.

The Garage Door Remote Won’t Work but the Wall Switch Does

Check the batteries and electrical connections in the remote to make sure they are working correctly. If they are working correctly, the problem might be because of the safety sensors. Some garage doors have infrared sensors that shoot an invisible beam across the door. If one of these beams is misaligned, blocked or the lenses are dirty, then, as a safety feature, the opener will not allow the door to close unless the wall switch is held down. Clean the beam lenses, and make sure they are aligned and unobstructed. If this fails to fix the problem, unplug the door opener and then plug it back in. This will often reset the safety systems of the unit.

Remote Only Works in Cold or Warm Weather

If there are problems with the remote that seem to occur only when the weather is either cold or warm, the problem probably has to do with the infrared safety sensors that run along the bottom of the door. Next time it happens, try going inside the garage and holding down the wall switch to override the safety. If the door works when this is done, then it is indeed the sensors that need to be realigned. What happens when the weather turns, is that the steel which houses the sensors either expands or contracts which, in turn, will distort the path of the sensor beam. If the beam was slightly misaligned in the first place, then the slight change in the temperature of the metal will force the safety to kick in. Also, in cold climates with heated garages, the lens on the sensors can be clouded by either fogging or frosting. Clean the lenses and realign the sensors to fix the problem. If that doesn’t work try rebooting the unit by unplugging the opener and then plugging it back in.

The Batteries in the Remote are Brand New and the Door Still Won’t Open

If the remote is set to the correct frequency, then this may not be a remote problem, but rather a problem with the garage opener itself. Check to make sure that the opener is plugged in and that no fuses are blown or circuit breakers tripped. If the power seems to be working properly, there may be an internal problem with the opener’s mechanisms. If this is the case, the unit will need to be taken in for service.

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Troubleshooting a Garage Door Opener Keypad

Your garage door opener keypad works by using a wireless remote control that is similar to the one you use to turn your television on. Like most types of remote control operated appliances, you will experience problems with your door opener from time to time. In most cases, the problem may stem from the keypad of the remote control. Troubleshooting keypad problems is quite easy and you can easily solve minor problems on this nature in just a few minutes. To help you troubleshoot your door opener keypad, here are some tips for you.

Fix the Frayed Wires

There is a big possibility that only one or two of the buttons on the keypad are problematic so you need to find these keys to solve the problem. The best way to find the problematic keys is to test the keys one by one. To do this, open the box of the remote control and look for frayed wirings between the keys. Loose contact between the wires and the keys is one of the most common reasons why your keypad malfunctions. Once you find the frayed wires, detach these wires completely then reattach them to the keypad. Make sure that the wires are securely attached to the keys before you close the remote control box.

Keys Stuck on the Pad

If the keys on your remote control get stuck to the pads when you press them, you may be facing dirt, dust and grime problems. To solve the problem of sticky keys, clean the remote control inside and outside. To do this, put a few drops of appliance cleaner on a piece of rag then use the rag to wipe away dirt and grime from the outside surface of the remote control. When cleaning the surface of the keypad, make sure that you clean the spaces in between the keys. To clean the inside of the remote control, open the remote control box and use a soft brush to remove the dust. If the keypad is detachable or can be removed completely from the remote control, remove the keypad and clean it thoroughly. Be sure to return the keys in their proper position after cleaning.

PIN Problem

If you have problems with your personal identification number (PIN), do not keep on pressing the keypad of your remote control in the hope of making the door opener work. Pressing the wrong PIN several times may cause your system to malfunction completely so instead of doggedly pressing the keypad, press the “learn” button on the motor then enter your four digit unlocking code. The unlocking code usually comes with the instruction manual of the unit. When the motor light blinks, press the release button on the motor to reset the PIN.

Reboot the Whole System

To eliminate persistent problems on your keypad, try rebooting the whole system. To do this, simply turn off the system and unplug it for about 5 minutes. Rebooting the system should clear the memory of the remote control system and help you get rid of persistent problems on your keypad.

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Troubleshooting Garage Door Openers

Belt Drive Garage Door Openers

A belt drive garage door opener is one of the 3 types of door openers available to home owners. The other two, the chain driven and the screw drive openers, have their own specific uses and application. Since the garage door one of the largest moving parts in your home and an entry point for your home, you want to feel confident that everything is going to work the way it should. Troubleshooting something means either seeing problems before they happen or noticing what is wrong so you can fix is quickly. Here are a few problems associated with a belt drive garage door opener for easy troubleshooting.

Dirty Belts

The garage door opener is not a set-it-and-forget it type of appliance. Since it is in the garage is going to mean, it will need to be periodically cleaned to ensure longevity and problem-free use. Dust can accumulate on the wheel that drives the belt. Clean this out with some air or a rag. Wipe down the belt itself to keep it from rubbing on any dirt particles and fraying.

Squeaky Drive

When lowering the garage door, a noise or squeak it can be a sign of problems that are to come. In this case, you will need to lightly oil the wheel that turns the belt to keep it turning and free of accumulating dirt.

Bouncing Door

If the door continually starts and stop when you raise it, the bouncing motion can damage the door. This is usually caused by the motor not working properly, or something is interfering with the belt drive. Inspect the belt to check for any type of obstruction. If there is nothing that can keep the door from raising smoothly, you then have a problem with the motor itself.

Binding of Belt

When the belt begins to bind and not work as smoothly as when it was first installed, it is an indication that something has gotten out of alignment. This is usually a product of the rail assembly being loose. Tightening the bolts with a ratchet will help to ease the binding problem.

Door Closes Hard

After several uses, you might see that the door begins to close hard onto the cement floor of the garage. This can be a problem with two different components. The first is the sensitivity of the force adjustment that is located on the back of the motor housing. Adjust this so that the door will settle easily onto the floor. The second reason is through a loosening of the radial arm that holds the door to the belt. Tighten the bolts on this and check for any wear or elongation of the bolt hole.

Door Does Not Open

If you press the opener button and nothing happens, you should first check to see that the unit is plugged in. Check the fuse to see that nothing has tripped. Check the gears that turn the belt assembly to see if there are obstructions. Clean out the IR sensors to make sure there are no obstructions. You should also check to make sure the manual disconnect has not been pulled. If all of these issues are in good working order, you will have a problem with the motor itself.

Chain Drive Garage Door Opener


Your chain drive garage door opener is tasked with operating the largest moving part in your entire home. With this type of responsibility you want to make sure that the opener will work consistently without any problems. When problems do occur you should know how to fix them easily and quickly. In all garage door openers, there are two areas where problems can occur. They are located in the motor unit and the lifting mechanism itself. Troubleshooting your chain drive garage door opener is easily done by following a few steps.

Always Look for Loose Hardware

Before you start checking out any other problems that might be associated with your chain drive garage door opener, begin looking at the various nuts and bolts on the unit. These can be in the rail system, the mounting brackets, and lifting mechanism. When these work their way loose, and they sometimes do, it can cause your opener to do some crazy things. Binding, moving, raising intermittently, bouncing, and hitting the floor hard are all problems associated with loose hardware. Take some time to tighten these up to ensure that things are working smoothly.

Uneven Rails and Tracks

Some problems are associated with the actual installation of the garage door opener. If the rail system is not perfectly level, the chain can eventually bind up in the process of working the door. Also, the garage door slides along two door rails on either side of the garage. Place a level on these and the rail to check to see if they are level. If they are not, adjust the height to the point where they will work without any problems.

Unclean Chain

If the chain of the chain drive system is not cleaned on a regular schedule you will find that it will not work as smoothly as it should. While there is a certain level of bouncing involved with a chain drive opener, it should not be overly bouncy and cause the chain to slip. Look at the chain and clean any type of gunk, grime, and dirt that will accumulate there.

Door Reverses on Contact

There are times when the door will reverse its direction as it makes contact with the garage floor. This can be caused by two different things. One of the problems can be with the travel length of the garage door opener itself. Adjust the amount of travel in the system to keep the door to a specific stopping point. Another problem that might cause this is a malfunction of the electronic eye. If there is any type of obstruction that is getting in the way as the door closes, it will immediately reverse its direction. Clean the lenses and make sure there is nothing interfering this the eye. Even a shadow that is made by closing it will cause this to happen.

Door Does Not Raise

Sometimes the manual release for the door is pulled, causing the opener to disengage from the lifting mechanism. The garage door will operate, but the door is not going to raise or lower. Check to see if this has happened and set it back into position.

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